Boston Celtics 

Summer League.

2017.

Summer League: Part III.

By Tom Mahoney

Okay, it's just Summer League. Calm down everybody. No need to wet your pants. I mean, maybe two or three guys from each squad will be on a team come the regular season. Buuuuut, Brown and Tatum kicked some serious ass last night (And we just snagged Gordon Hayward;).

Tatum, who Ainge had rated 1st on his board (and I can no longer add a "yeah right") was better than Fultz. "Me and Markelle have known each other for a long time," Tatum said. "From high school we played against each other. All the All-Star games: McDonald's, Hoops Summit, Jordan Brand. We finally reached our dream and I'm pretty sure we're going to compete against each other for a long time." It is going to be interesting to watch some Celtics-Philly basketball wars again.

Brown garnered 29 points (10 of 16 from the floor), 13 boards, looked like the best player on the floor the whole game, and had three blocks (including the game winning block on Fultz). "No offense to Utah, but I don't want to do nothing else out here but play," Brown said. "I came here to play basketball." Tatum hit the go ahead shot with less than 5-seconds to play, and Brown had the game ending defensive play of the night (after scoring 29-point;).

Brown and Tatum dominated the 4th quarter. Which when pups grow up into stars that is what you want from them. Brown started off the 4th quarter with a great pass to Semi under the hoop, only it was blocked (but should have been an easy basket). Tatum then stole the ball and took it down court and dunked it for an and one. When the Celtics got the ball back, Brown got a head of the pack and drew the foul for 2-points. 

Then on defense, Brown and Tatum had a perfect switch. Totem cut off Brown's man on the baseline, and Brown hopped out on Tatum's man, after Tatum forced Brown's man to passed it out. But they miscommunicated on the next switch and gave up a basket. Brown hit his third free throw of the quarter, after a 3-second call on the defense. Then Semi hit a Three, and Jackson drove for Two.

Brown played some nice D. He helped on Semi's man, and cut off his man. Which forced the pass to Brown's man on the 3-point line. Brown was able to leap back and get a hand in his face, and help cause a brick. Nader then drove for Two. To make it 77-76 Celts. But Tatum got called for a foul on a nasty spin move by Fultz for two FTs. And two Threes made it 83-77 Sixers. It was a game of runs all night.

Brown then brought the ball up, and ran past three guys for a lefty layup, which is remarkable off a timeout. Really just wretched by the Sixers. Brown and Tatum executed another switch perfectly and forced a kick out to Nader's man. Brown snuck over and cut him off. Then got back to his man and got a hand up in his face again to help force the miss. Tatum put up a step back jumper as the clock expired, but missed.

Brown grab the rebound on the D-end and brought the ball up. The one complaint I have with Brown is that he was a little too greedy with the ball (but he was so damn effective that is sounds silly). He dribble to the 3-point line and missed a Three without looking at a teammate. My least favorite shot in basketball. 

Tatum grabbed the next rebound and brought it up, and drove end to end without looking at a teammate. My second most hated shot. He missed the layup, but got the call. He hit two FTs. Tatum then got the ball at the right elbow, and hit a beautiful step threw off the glass to tie the game at 83.

Brown is just a great defender. He picked up Futz out at the Angle, and cut him off twice (he can play SG with Hayward at the Three). He switched off the pick, but stayed locked on Fultz with his eyes. Then when Fultz tried to drive past Nader, he got a hand on the ball and slapped it out a little. But Fultz was able to get it back, but through up an awkward miss. That was impressive D against the smaller guard out in space. He not only didn't let him drive, and almost reached in and stole the ball at the top of the key. Then Brown rebounded the ball, but turned it over trying to go one of five again (hate-it, hate-it, hate-it the most. If you bring the ball up you must pass, unless the red sea parts;). 

Brown grabbed the rebound on the next possession, and promptly passed to Jackson who set up the offense. Jackson gave it Tatum at the top of the key. He hit a long Two, after dancing around for a while, to put the Celts up Two. But on the next possession Tatum left his man, for no logical reason, to attack Brown's man. Which left Brown floating in the middle. Tatum's man then cut to the hoop for a freebie to tie it at 84. I'm sure he got a "what's the hell" from coach Allen watching that Tape.

Tatum grabbed the next rebound, and promptly gave it to Jackson to set up the offense (notice how Tatum was following Brown's lead). Jackson threw it away, and then grabbed it back and scored to put the Celts up Two. Jackson turned it over. Fultz got the basket by attacking with speed. Then he got the ball back, and Brown was able to cut him off nicely. Then Fultz faked like he was hit and the refs called it. He hit one to make it 87-86 Celts. Brown is looking more and more like an elite defender.

Tatum brought the ball up, and gave it Jackson with on :10 seconds left on the 24. Jackson had to drive to the hoop, and got it blocked. Brown got back on defense, and helped Fultz miss another lay up, but a trailer put the rebound in to put Philly up One with 27 seconds left. The missed story of this game was Brown's defense.

Nader brought it up for some reason and went one on five. The ball flew out of bounds and they gave it to the Celtics. They gave it to Semi, and got his pass knocked out of bounds. Tatum inbounded the ball to Jackson (finally). Jackson gave it back. Tatum dribbled to the top of the key. Then pulled up before they can double him, and nailed a jumper to make it 89-88 Celts. 

But that wasn't the game. Philly got the ball into Fultz, with under 5-seconds to play. Nader picked him up on the right baseline. Fultz drove past him. Brown saw it all, and started down the left lane. Fultz reversed it, and Brown skied up and blocked the shot the seal the win. Fultz missed three shots in the final minute, and (according to the announcer) Tatum scored 8 of the final 10 points. And the best defensive play of the game, and maybe the whole Summer League, was left out of the story by everyone? 

I think I screwed this up, as I lost count in the middle of the 4th. But, I had Brown with 5-points and 3-Rebounds in the 4th, and Tatum with 10-Points, 1-Steal, and 2-Rebounds in the 4th.

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The best news that I heard before the game is that Brown has been mentoring Tatum, and showing him the workout routine  and work ethic that made him a factor in the Playoffs this year. "I just told Jayson to just take a deep breath and breathe," Brown said. "Last year when I was in his spot, I was so nervous. I think my first game last year I shot 17 free throws and I only had like 15 points. I got to the free throw line a lot, but I was so nervous." Tatum was better last night than Brown was in any Summer League game last year.

I have been Tatum's biggest critic, but he looked more ready to contribute last night (and I don't mean  as a starter or anything) than Brown did after seven Summer League games. "I could see it in his eyes he was nervous early," Brown said. "I just told him to take a deep breath, let the game come to you. He made some tremendous plays. The boy can ball. Can't nobody take that from him." Now Brown is the guy who is going to step up this year.

I don't want to go to far. What I'm trying to convey is that for a 19-year old rookie he was surprisingly skilled, calm in the face of massive pressure (think how nervous you'd be playing in your first NBA action;), clutch, and poised. I can no longer call Ainge Captain Underpants. And I meant that as a Daddy joke (my kids loved Captain Underpants books, and reading them with them was fun for me;), or in Danny's case, a Granddaddy reading Captain Underpants to his grandkids (which I assumed he read them a book or two;) joke. It wasn't meant to be Mormon magic underpants joke (and ever since a bashed my head on a boulder I've actually felt guilty;). 

I am now proclaiming that Captain... I mean, Trader Danny was 100% right about Tatum. I questioned his ability to get low and play D, but he had 5 steals in that Game. I was more impressed with his D and 5 steals than the game winning jumper. "It was a lot tougher than I thought," Tatum said. "Guys are a lot faster. I haven't played a game since college. But it was fun to get back out there and compete. It was a good game." It is still only Summer League, and things are going to get a hundred times tougher once the season starts.

He was the best player on the court in the 4th quarter. "I just wanted to get back to the middle of the floor," Tatum said about his go ahead jumper. "I think the bucket I made before that [game winner], was a jumper in the middle of the floor. I just tried to get back to my sweet spot and say a prayer. And it went in." It sure did.

If he thinks it was tougher than he thought, and guys are "faster" (LOL)? He ain't seen nothing yet. Wait until he starts playing against grown NBA men. "[I need to] be more efficient," Tatum said. "I was a little nervous today, and a little out of shape of course. Try to be more in shape, and more efficient next time." It looked like first game back syndrome to me (where you do everything right after not playing for a few months). He was near perfect in this game. But second game back syndromes (where you can't seem to do anything right in the 2nd game back, after not playing for a while) means he will struggle a lot more tonight against the Spurs.

It was great to see how much chemistry that Brown and Tatum had on the court. It is imperative, if this team wants to move onto multiple Championships, that Tatum and Brown get along like best friend. "He talks to me all the time," Tatum said about Brown. "When he sees me slacking he tells me, 'push through it. keep going.' When he sees me doing good. He tells me, 'Keep going.' You know, we feed off each other." Any rift between the youngsters could derail everything, like Kidd in Dallas did.

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Impeachment Proceeding!

First off what Jared was doing is not a "Backdoor". A "Backdoor" is a legal way to have private conversations with other world leaders for the benefit of America. What Jared set up was a Covert/Illegal/treasonous communication with a foreign enemy who was ATTACKING US! And let's be clear again: 

When you vote for a Loser who loves Dictators?

That you get a loser President who thinks he's a Dictator!

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Then you get a LOSER PRESIDENT

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You get scumbag Republicans who are desperate to 

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